Things To consider before buying a Hand Chain saw


Good for

Pocket chainsaws are great for people who spend most of their time in remote places or isolated locations. For example, survivalists, hunters, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts love having a convenient saw in their backpack. One of the biggest advantages of these tools is the convenience involved. In other words, they are lightweight, easy to use, and most importantly – affordable. In fact, anyone can purchase a pocket chainsaw for under fifty dollars and use it as their new tool.

The simplicity of these products is what makes them desirable. The main selling point of most of these tools is the fact that they are the most user-friendly item when it comes to heavy-duty performance. Bear in mind; you won’t be able to tackle any demanding tasks with these tools due to certain limitations. They are great for a specific group of people, while the others don’t see many benefits in them.


Not recommended for

These chainsaws don’t utilize a conventional power source. In other words, the only thing that affects the overall performance and efficiency is – you. Therefore, if you aren’t in good physical shape or are prone to exhaustion, pocket chainsaws probably aren’t your cup of tea. On top of that, even though it’s not mandatory, it’s much easier to use these if you have someone around to help. In other words, it’s a combined effort, and we highly recommend that you consider using pocket chainsaws with a friend, colleague, and etcetera.

One of the biggest drawbacks is the lack of power. Even if you’re in excellent physical shape, there is quite a bit of limitation involved. For example, you shouldn’t expect it to cut large trees and tackle big projects because it requires an immense amount of physical contribution.

Top Rated Hand Chainsaws

The Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw is our favourite pocket chainsaw here at Tool Nerds, for its conventional design and superb cutting quality.

Chainmate Survival Pocket Chainsaw

Our Rating: 4.3

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

This 24-inch saw is one of the best on the market. While it’s not a complex mechanical unit, it still does its job quite well. It features carbon-steel teeth which are designed to cut through anything you put in front of them. As you may know, it doesn’t use an external power source, but instead, its performance solely depends on your physical shape and readiness. When it comes to ease of use, there’s not much to talk about. All you have to do is grab both ends of the saw and start cutting.

The build quality is excellent. One of the most important features of these tools is the build quality because there is not much more to care about in the first place. This model is made in the United States and as such can be considered top-quality. In the end, it’s obvious that it’s made to last for a long time as long as you maintain it in good condition. Speaking of maintenance, there’s not much to worry about. The only thing you need to pay attention to most of the time is proper lubrication.

This model comes with a pouch and belt clip. While it may not sound too impressive for most people, it’s quite a benefit. In other words, instead of having to care about storage and transport, all you have to do is put it into the pouch, and that’s it. Wearing it on your belt is pretty convenient, and it significantly decreases downtime. On the other hand, downtime is a pretty frequent occurrence with these units because you can rest assured that fatigue is going to kick in at some point. However, if you bring a friend to help you, the fatigue element decreases by a lot. The price is more than acceptable, even for people on a tight budget.

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Our Rating: 4.7

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Camping Pocket Chainsaw by Livwild

Our Rating: 4.7

If you’re a camping enthusiast, this particular model might be a good solution for your next purchase. It features sharp cutting blades on every link making it one of the most efficient models from our list. The bi-directional blades allow this model to cut both when pushed and pulled. In other words, it’s up to three times faster than its equivalents from the same category.

As far as the design goes, it’s pretty straightforward. The model consists of two hand grips and a 26-inch serrated chain. The hand grips are well-designed, and they don’t cause skin problems due to friction and extensive use. However, we strongly recommend that you use protective gloves at all times. On top of that, make sure you wear eye protection even if it doesn’t seem necessary.

The heat-treated steel is one of the most reliable materials in this industry. Needless to say, this model will cut through anything as long as you invest enough physical effort. It comes with belt pouch, emergency blanket, and a survival eBook. It’s a great piece for a vast array of people including hikers, hunters, campers, bikers, and more. While it does cut with ease, it’s recommended that you don’t use it only by yourself, especially if you’re planning on tackling a massive project. It’s not impossible, but the downtime is simply not worth the effort. Instead, call a friend or a colleague, and you’ll find it much easier to cope with bigger trees.

The price is okay, but we have seen similar models for less money. That doesn’t mean they are of the same quality but are pretty similar feature-wise. In the end, it all comes down to your own personal preferences. If you’re looking for a convenient pocket saw with excellent cutting capabilities, don’t hesitate to check this one out. As far as the downsides go, we would have liked to see a different material used for the hand grips.

Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw

Our Rating: 4.6

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

If you’re looking for long and thick chains, this is the one for you. While the other competitors usually design 24-inches long pocket chainsaws, this one is 36 inches. As you can see, it is a significant difference, and it definitely affects the overall experience and performance. It also features bi-directional self-cleaning teeth that are designed to cut through anything you put in front of them. However, it all depends on your physical shape. While the lengthier models are easier to cope with, they still require a great deal of effort and physical strength.

The build quality is excellent. One can tell that this model is built to last for at least a couple of years as long as you keep it in good condition. In fact, the manufacturer issues a lifetime warranty meaning you don’t have to worry about any complications when it comes to replacements, refunds, and etcetera. The design is pretty conventional, and it consists of two hand grips and a serrated chain. The grips are okay, but they can cause some issues due to intense friction. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you use protective gloves while utilizing this model.

The included accessories are one of the biggest selling points of this unit, apart from its superior build quality. The included fire-starter kit comes in handy for survival enthusiasts, campers, hunters, and so on. On top of that, it comes with a small pouch that can be mounted on most backpacks that are available on the market. In other words, you don’t have to think about transport and storage at all.

The price is more than acceptable. While some other similar models may have a hefty price, this particular one is quite budget-friendly. The no-questions-asked warranty is a neat addition to an already versatile unit.

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Croc Survival Pocket Chainsaw

Our Rating: 4.3

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Croc Survival Pocket Chainsaw

Our Rating: 4.3

The design of this particular model is a bit different. It’s still a pocket chainsaw with a set of standard features, but it includes better hand grips and a string between the chain and the hand grips. While some people don’t like this particular method, we consider it quite beneficial for a few reasons.

The build quality is okay. The chain is made of high-quality steel, and it cuts through wood quite well. However, it’s not too impressive in comparison to some other models. In simpler words, the quality of the chain is mediocre and expected. However, the hand grips are the thing that makes this model worth checking out. Instead of integrating two thick strips, the manufacturer decided to include two grips made of hard plastic. The biggest advantage of this element is the ergonomics. These hand grips are much easier to hold than the ones made of thick fabric. Furthermore, they don’t cause any friction issues nor do they cause as much fatigue and exhaustion. One can safely say that it can be used by only one person without too much downtime.

The chain is 20 inches long which is the main disadvantage of this model. We would have liked to see at least a couple of inches more. You can expect to run into certain limitations due to the lack of length. Therefore, it may not be an ideal solution for cutting large trees.

It’s a good model for occasional users that don’t want to invest in a corded or gas-powered unit. You can expect a good performance, but don’t expect a miraculous one because the unit isn’t foreseen for heavy-duty projects. The price is okay, and it’s suitable for people on a tighter budget.

Doingart Chainsaw

Our Rating: 3.7

  • Design
  • Functionality
  • Price

Even though this model is advertised as a 39-inch one, the chain length is actually only 19 inches. If you’re looking for a decent pocket chainsaw with a standard set of features at an affordable price, the Doingart model might be a good solution. It’s made of high-quality materials which ensure fast and precise cuts in most cases.

As far as the build quality goes, it is okay, but it doesn’t feature anything impressive. The chain is made of steel, and the handles are made of hard plastic. If you’re not a fan of somewhat bulky hand grips, don’t purchase this particular model. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a lot of ergonomics, longevity, and reliability, don’t hesitate to take a look and see if it suits your needs. As far as the hand grips go, they are okay, but you’ll need a couple of uses in order to get used to them if you never had the opportunity to utilize this particular form of grips.

One of the biggest disadvantages in comparison to some other models is the fact that it doesn’t come with a carrying case included. While it may not be that big of an issue for many people, we consider it to be a significant shortcoming. However, the price is more than affordable meaning you shouldn’t expect a lot of premium features.

This model is a good solution for adventurists, but if you’re planning on cutting particularly large trees, it might cause some issues like fatigue and exhaustion. Therefore, we strongly recommend that you include an extra person and alleviate the amount of invested effort. Many people liked this model due to its simplicity, but some struggled with the overall lack of chain length.

Quick Product Comparison


Chainmate Pocket

Chainmate Survival
Pocket ChainSaw

24/36/48 inchesCarbon steel teeth4,5 pounds$Check Price
camping chainsaw by livwild

Camping Pocket
Chainsaw by Livwild

26 inchesIndustrial-grade heat
treated Carbon Steel
6 pounds$$Check Price
Sportsman Pocket Chainsaw

Sportsman Pocket

36 inchesCarbon heat-treated steel links2,8 pounds$$Check Price
Croc survival chainsaw

Croc Survival
Pocket Chainsaw

24 inchesCarbon steel teeth4 pounds$$Check Price
Doingart chainsaw

Doingart Chainsaw

39 inchesHigh-strength
tensile ferromanganese
4 pounds$Check Price

Before You Buy: How a Hand Chainsaw Works?

Most people use common sense when it comes to figuring out how these tools work. Truth be told, there isn’t much to talk about in the first place due to the incredible simplicity of the working principles. However, even if it sounds pretty simple, there still are some things you should pay attention to when researching pocket chainsaws.

Power source

The biggest difference between this and any other type of chainsaws is in the power source. While other models use electricity, gasoline, or batteries, this particular one solely depends on your physical shape and readiness. It’s a double-edged sword in a way because even though it doesn’t cause too many hassles, it’s still an exhausting experience after a while. However, it’s an easily solvable issue, all you have to do is include an extra person in the equation and alleviate some of the pressure on yourself.


These tools don’t require a great deal of maintenance, and that’s one of the biggest advantages. Most of the time, all you have to do is take care of lubrication and sharpen the teeth occasionally, depending on how often do you use the chainsaw. Most of them are built to last for a long time, especially because there are no mechanical parts that can cause a failure. The more simplistic a particular tool is, the longer it will last.

How do they work?

The principle is as simple as it can be. Every pocket chainsaw consists of two hand grips and a serrated chain. All you have to do is use the push/pull technique in order to cut through wood. As you can tell, there isn’t much to it other than investing a great deal of physical power in order to achieve a somewhat efficient performance.

Here is a video from showing how to use a pocket chainsaw and how effective pocket chainsaws work: 

YouTube video

Best Pocket Chainsaw – Buyer’s Guide

Before you opt to purchase a particular model, there are some things you need to pay attention to. Even though buying a pocket chainsaw may seem pretty easy, many people make some common mistakes that can cost them quite a bit after a while. Now, that doesn’t mean you are going to lose a lot of money in the process, especially because of the affordability of these tools. But, that also doesn’t mean you should buy the first model you stumble upon because you may end up with a worthless piece of serrated chain.  Take a moment and check this article out, it should help you to make the right decision and make an optimal purchase.

Chain length

The first thing you should pay attention to is the chain length. Bear in mind, a lot of manufacturers declare the overall length of the whole model instead of just the chain. For example, even though a particular model is advertised as a 30-inch one, the chain length may only be around 20 inches. The remaining ten inches are usually the handles or auxiliary laces, buckles, and so on.

The length of the chain is a fundamental factor when it comes to the performance efficiency. In other words, the lengthier the chain is – the better. However, this is not true in all cases, and it’s far from a concrete rule. Some people don’t need a lengthy chain for many reasons, and that’s why shorter models exist in the first place.

Ergonomics and Design

Because you are the power source for a pocket chainsaw, it would be a good idea to pay attention to design and ergonomics. The more comfortable unit you find, the easier it will be to tackle some more demanding tasks. When it comes to the most important factor, it’s usually the shape, weight, and materials used in the production of hand grips. While we would recommend getting plastic hand grips, there’s nothing wrong in having the conventional sewn ones. In the end, it all comes down to your personal preferences and needs. If you’re a devoted camper, the sewn hand grips are a better option due to convenient storing and transport. Also, most of those come with a pouch included while plastic ones usually don’t.

On the other hand, if you aren’t planning on carrying your new tool around much, don’t hesitate to go with plastic grips as they are more comfortable in most cases.

Pocket saw cutting

The price

The vast majority of models that are available on the market are quite affordable. Now, one cannot say it’s a cheap piece of equipment, but it’s definitely an accessible one even for people on a tight budget. However, you shouldn’t buy the cheapest or the most expensive one. The reason behind this is pretty simple – the price doesn’t determine the overall quality of the unit. In other words, even if a chainsaw is significantly more expensive than an average one, that doesn’t mean it offers proportionally more or better features. The more expensive models usually have a hefty price due to branding and other factors instead of being of better quality.

Hand saw cutting


While most people don’t think about safety factors due to the absence of relevant power source, it’s still an issue you should address. In simpler terms, even though these chainsaws don’t look as intimidating and dangerous as, for example, gas-powered ones, that doesn’t mean they can’t cause severe injuries. In fact, the less attention you focus on safety, the more chance you have for injury.

Therefore, always use safety equipment such as protective goggles, gloves, and thick clothing. While pocket chainsaws may not seem as dangerous, you can rest assured that they can cause severe injuries. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Other factors

When buying a pocket chainsaw, make sure you pay attention to warranty conditions. There are plenty of manufacturers that offer a lifetime warranty, and you should probably aim for those companies. On top of that, take a moment and read other people’s reviews and opinions about a particular product. It’s always better to collect as much relevant data as possible in order to find the best suiting chainsaw for yourself.

The conclusion

Feel free to take a look at all of the models we have covered. If you’re interested in finding out more, don’t hesitate to check out our full reviews. As far as pocket chainsaws go, they are a good addition to every enthusiast’s inventory, but you shouldn’t expect a miraculous performance by any means. In fact, the efficiency of your new tool usually depends on your physical strength and tolerance levels. In other words, you can rest assured that these tools have the largest downtime and cause the most fatigue in comparison to other types.

The biggest advantage is certainly the price aspect. Most of these saws cost only a fragment of the price of other types. Furthermore, these chainsaws are the easiest to use of them all. When it comes to disadvantages, the lack of power source may be considered as the biggest one because it causes a lot of certain limitations. In the end, it comes down to your preferences. If you need a handy tool for occasional cutting, a pocket chainsaw might be a good solution.

Other Pocket Chainsaw Categories